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How Google's anti-adblocking draft affects other Chromium-based browsers
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[Image: brave-browser-interface.png]

Google is working on a new manifest for Chrome extensions that defines the capabilities that extensions have in Google Chrome.

The manifest is available as a draft currently which means that it is not set in stone. One of the changes impacts most adblocking extensions for Chrome significantly if it passes in its current state.

Google plans to limit an API that most content blockers use currently and replace it with a new API that is limited as well. Core limitations include a fixed limit for the number of blocking rules that extensions may support. Google set the limit to 30,000 in the draft; popular blocking lists have more than double the number of entries already, and that does not even take into account options to use multiple lists. Google knows about that but has not adjusted the limit since draft publication.

Google Chrome is based on Chromium code to a large extent. The changes that Google proposes could impact other Chromium-based web browsers such as Vivaldi, Opera, Brave, or the new Microsoft Edge browser as well.

The big question is this: will extensions be limited on these browsers as well if Manifest launches in its current state? There is no catch-all answer as it depends on a number of factors.

First of all, one has to realize that the change affects extension capabilities only. While the change might affect extensions in all browsers, it won't affect browsers that come with their own ad-blocking capabilities provided that users of these browsers use these already or switch to them when extensions lose the effectiveness.

Brave and Opera

Brave and Opera include ad-blocking functionality by default; these will continue to work just like before regardless of the new Manifest file for extensions.

Third-party browser developers who use Chromium as the source can change the Manifest or code in the browser to change the limits or keep the old API supported.

The companies have not revealed their position on Manifest V3 if it lands in its current state.
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